Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview
Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems.
Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. For more details please see:
Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top: http://goo.gl/wGjVG
High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change: http://goo.gl/juWdH
Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet http://goo.gl/niWy1g
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Design principles for building networks to survive global warming
Most people think that major climatic effects from global warming such as rising sea levels and major droughts will not happen for at least another few decades. But in fact the major snow and rainfall patterns we are seeing are this year are the first significant evidence of global warming. We have seen the damage done in Queensland Australia which took out AARnet and many commercial networks. Climate models predict we are going to see a lot more of these severe events. Last year every continent on the planet suffered record breaking floods. And things are only going to get a lot worse and a lot more frequent in the coming years. For a more detailed analysis of coming threats and frequency of severe precipitation events please see http://goo.gl/xgBzp
The current thinking is that these unusual snow and rainfall events are once in a lifetime occurrences, whereas in fact they are rapidly becoming the norm. The Netherlands is particularly susceptible which has suffered many massive floods in 1953 and 1995. But major flooding and storm damage is predicted for many parts of the world. If massive floods are only once a hundred year event, you can largely ignore there impact on the design of your network. But when massive destructive floods start to be a regular seasonal event new networking architectures are required.
What happens when all electrical transformer substations are flooded and out of action? How do you build a survivable network when fuel trucks can't deliver fuel to backup diesel generators because of flooded roads? How will you power network equipment in the event of such an emergency - at a time when network access is more critical than ever?. R&E networks in particular may be called upon to play a critical role to provide access to HPC facilities for localized flood and climate models, as well collecting real time data from a host of sensors to measure climate and flood conditions. Schools and universities, as well, will want to continue to provide education and research services, as is practically possible, during such climatic events.
Adapting networks to survive global warming does not require significant new investments but more of a change in the mindset in the assumption that power will always be available either from the grid or standby generators. A lot of current work being doing with virtual computing, optical exchanges, federated networking, wireless services are readily adaptable to be used to build survivable networks.
In no order of priority here are some issues that network engineers need to start to address to build networks to adapt to global warming:
1. Move equipment room containing cable termination equipment, switch gear, and any other electronic equipment out of basements. I recommend moving all this equipment as close as possible to the roof where solar panels and micro windmills can be located. Optical fibers should not terminate in cable vault in basement, but instead be fused with splices that bring the fiber up to the equipment room
2. Power all critical equipment with solar panels and or micro windmills using PoE or 400 Hz systems. Design overlapping access nodes and services to provide multiple layer coverage e.g. WiFi overlaid with GSM/LTE overlaid with WhiteFi/mesh radios. If R&E network operates a MVNO they can provide these overlay networks and balance loads between GSM/WiFi etc with local handoff. See http://thephonenerd.com/2011/01/24/ciscos-vision-of-the-future-of-wi-fi/
3. Deploy solar or windmill powered VMs for critical caching and content distribution that can be rapidly relocated to other sites depending on the availability of power – see www.greenstarnetwork.com for more details. Build clouds of federated VMs to share resources see EU Contrail project - http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/ssai/docs/call5-contrail.pdf
4. Deploy OpenFlow http://goo.gl/bWgA2 and/or Mantychore http://www.mantychore.eu/ to build virtual routers or federated forwarding tables to distribute IP routing to distant sites that may have enough power to support IP routing.
5. Build open optical exchanges and use OpenFlow with UCLP or OpenDrac to set up lightpaths to enable dynamic creation of VM clouds and distributed routing. Optical lighpaths will allow engineers to change IP topology to take advantage of available power for edge and core routing. For example, during severe floods power hungry edge routing can be moved off campus virtually using Mantychore and then looped back to campus with optical lighpaths
6. Federated open optical exchanges allow networks to exchange lightpaths between independent networks and establish new topologies to meet demand
Powering optical and routing equipment with electricity from renewable sources such as windmills and solar panels probably poses the biggest challenge. Most vendors have yet to address these issues as they are still largely fixated on the dead end thinking of energy efficiency. Educating equipment vendors to provide appropriate solutions will be probably the most important step. But deploying such a network will not only prepare the R&E community for the inevitable coming environmental disaster, it also allow significant cost savings in energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Green Internet Consultant. Practical solutions to reducing GHG emissions such as free broadband and electric highways. http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/
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